The Austin Gilgronis added Mack Mason to the team for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The 24-year-old flyhalf/inside center (25 in January) is 5’10” and 195 lbs.
Mack was born in Cairns, Queensland, Australia, and was raised in Mitchell, in the Western downs district. He attended the Anglican Church Grammar School and represented Queensland U16s in 2012. He played for the school’s 1st XV in 2013 and in 2014 and was the Churchie’s captain.
In 2015 he played for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL U20s competition, made his NRC debut with Queensland Country, where he would continue to play through 2017, and represented the Australia U20s at the IRB Junior World U20s Championship.
In 2016 he played for Queensland U20s in the inaugural Australian U20s competition. In 2017 he began playing with Eastern Suburbs in the Shute Shield competition and was the Ken Catchpole Finalist for the best player in 2019. In 2017 he joined the Super Rugby Waratahs playing two matches in 2017 and four in 2019. Rugby great Bernard Foley impacted his ability to gain playing time.
In 2018 he played for the Greater Sydney Rams in the NRC, and the NSW Country Eagles in 2019 and 2020. He did not see any action for the Waratahs in 2020 but was the vice-captain of the Waratahs A.
Mack will join a loaded team of international flyhalves in Will Magie and Kurt Morath with Zinzan Elan-Puttick capable of playing there. Both Magie and Elan-Puttick play fullback and Mack has played at the inside center.
Austin Gilgronis Comments
Austin Gilgronis is delighted to announce the signing of Australian flyhalf, Mack Mason. Mason is one of the premier young halfbacks in all of Australia and a huge get for the AG’s playmaker unit.
Mason signs with Austin Gilgronis and the club’s two newest coaches, Australian rugby legends: Sam Harris and Mark Gerrard. “Mack is a player that has so much to offer,” says Sam Harris. “He’s a good hard country boy that has a very rounded game, a true triple threat, very proficient option whether run, pass, and kick. Mack was on a trajectory to the Wallabies; fortunately for the AGs, Mack slipped through the cracks a bit. Mack is a quality player that is primed to light up the MLR.”
This coming January, Mack Mason will ship off to the United States for the first time in his life and looks primed to be a real star in Major League Rugby. “This is a fresh start for me, for the last two years with the Waratahs it felt a bit like they didn’t really want me and I stuck around and earned a couple shots just to prove a point,” says Mack Mason. “I feel really fortunate to get that call from Sam Harris and sign with the AGs because at the end of the day I just want to win a comp.”
The Road Less Traveled By
Breaking the mold is nothing new for Mason, he grew up 115 kilometers from the nearest town in Australia. A country boy through and through, Mason knew from a young age that not many kids from the Australian countryside go on to enjoy professional sporting careers. He praises his parents’ sacrifices for making the long drives to training and up to 400km hauls to play in matches on the weekend as a youth rugby player.
One of the more attractive elements of the club for Mack Mason was the fresh fingerprints of the AG ownership. New coaches, new staff, new colors, new logo, and a fairly new roster. “There’s something really refreshing about building a team from the ground up, and that’s what Sam Harris got into on the first call. He called while I was working on my farm and he just got me really excited about where the AGs are going,” says Mason. “I think the part that got me was Sam mentioning the winning culture they’re trying to build and yea just all the fun this team is going to have.”
Deep Flyhalf Stable
Mason is assuredly one of the headline signings of the offseason, but the flyhalf position is not going to be cakewalk for the young phenom. Mason will compete for the #10 jersey each week with USA Eagles fly half Will Magie and Tongan international, Kurt Morath. “One thing is for sure, it will be a humdinger of a battle for that coveted 10 jersey all year,” teases AGs head coach Sam Harris. “Flyhalf is a vital position, you can never have too much cover in that spot.”
The Aussie flyhalf is no stranger to a position battle after competing with Wallaby legend Bernard Foley for the last four years. “I’m a very competitive person, one big thing I learned from Bernard Foley is it can be a healthy competition, it doesn’t have to be nasty,” says Mason. “We can coach each other up because we’re all going to bring something different.”
He has also been watching the MLR for some time. He’s familiar with not only the AG players but many of the players across the league. In fact, one of the main attractions for him was the sudden rise in the level of play in the league from 2018-2020.
Mack Mason is eager to get into coaching when he gets over to the United States and hopes to spend some of his off-time in some sort of coaching role. He is nervously excited about the challenge of living in a new country and experiencing a new culture but feels confident that he’ll adapt and help the AGs win in 2021.
Welcome to the AGs, Mack Mason!